Regional Working Group on Environment

The Regional Working Group on Environment (RWGE) was established by the Barents Regional Council in 1993. After a reconstruction of the working groups under the Regional Council, the RWGE was re-established during the spring of 2001 as one of five regional working groups. The 13 member regions in the Barents Region have representatives in the RWGE. The chairmanship from region to region is changing once in two years. For the period 2012-2014 the chairmanship was carried out by Lapland (Finland) and from 2015 onwards by the Department of Rozprirodnadzor (Federal Service for the Supervision of Natural Resources) for North-Western Russia.

The mandate of the RWGE is to work as a consultative body on environmental issues to the Working Group of Environment (WGE). There is close co-operation between the RWGE and the WGE. The WGE may also submit suggestions and give mandates to the RWGE on implementation of special projects. The RWGE and WGE may initiate environmental projects within the Barents Region. Once in two years the Chair of the RWGE is reporting to the Ministers of the Environment of Russia, Norway, Sweden and Finland on the Ministerial Conference about the results of the RWGE’s activity during last two years. 

The RWGE from time to time updates the Action Program and identifies a few project ideas that will be given priority in the work of the RWGE. Water quality and biodiversity in the Barents Region have been the highlighted areas of action. The overall goal is to strengthen and coordinate multilateral co-operation in the Barents region. This will be done by project implementation and information change on several environment related topics. There are several environmental projects carried out by the organisations, which are taking part in the Barents environment co-operation. Projects on forestry impacts on surface waters, Atlantic salmon resources and climate change can be mentioned.

Efforts to improve the environmental situation in the area around the Pechenganikel industrial complex are also addressed in the framework of the RWGE. The Pechenganikel industrial complex is a main threat to aquatic and terrestrial environments in the Finnish, Norwegian, and Russian border area. Regional authorities in the counties of Finnmark, Lapland, and Murmansk have in collaboration with research institutes in the Barents Region completed a «Pasvik program». The objective of the «Pasvik program» was to develop and implement an environmental monitoring and assessment program in the border areas. Nineteen institutions in the Barents Region have participated in the program. The long term objective of the project is to ensure that the monitoring data covering the state of the environment are reliable, comparable, and available to authorities, environmental experts and local people in the border areas. 

RWGE Annual Report 2013




RWGE documents


Mr. Vasily Fedorov, Chair
Deputy Director, Department of Rosprirodnadzor of North-West Russia
Liteyny pr. 39, 191014 St. Petersburg, Russia
Phone : +7 812 579 84 93

Mr. Jari Pasanen
Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Lapland
P.O. Box 8060, 96100 Rovaniemi, Finland
Mobile: +358 40 518 7484
Fax : +358 16 345 991

Mr. Jonas Liimatta
Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for North Ostrobothnia
P.O. Box 8686, 90101 Oulu, Finland
Mobile: +358 50 396 7494

Mr. Tatu Turunen
Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Kainuu 
Kalliokatu 4, 87100 Kajaani, Finland
Phone: +358 295 023 500

Mr. Jouni Ponnikas 
Regional Council of Kainuu 
Kauppakatu 1, 87100 Kajaani, Finland 
Phone: +358 08 615 541

Mr. Jonas L. Lundin
County Administrative Board of Norrbotten
Environmental Protection Unit
SE-971 86 Luleå, Sweden
Tel.: +46 10 22 55 363
Fax: +46 920 22 84 11

Mr. Mats-Rune Bergström
County Administration of Västerbotten,
901 86 Umeå, Sweden
Phone: + 46 90 10 73 52,
Mobil: +46 70 621 73 52
Fax : +46 90 10 72 00

Ms. Bente Christiansen
County Governor in Finnmark, 
Statens hus, 9815 Vadsø, Norway 
Phone: +47 78 95 03 73
Fax: +47 78 95 03 70

Mr. Asbjørg Fyhn
Troms fylkeskommune, P.O.Box 6600,
9296 Tromsø, Norway
Phone: +47 77 78 81 65
Fax: +47 77 78 80 01

Mr. Roar Høgsæt
County Governor in Nordland,
Moloveien 10, 8002 Bodø, Norway
Phone: +47 75 53 15 62
Fax: +47 75 53 16 80

Ms. Tatiana Tyupenko
Expert, Syktyvkar State University
Mobile: +8 912 86 97 497

Calendar of Events
Meeting of the Working Group on Environment (WGE)

Place: Svanhovd Environmental Centre, Svanvik, Norway

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During two missions, in 2007 and 2012, Swedish journalist Tom Juslin traveled through the Nordic countries to find out how climate change affects people, animals and nature - "Climate Journey" opens the planned series of exhibitions in in Kirkenes

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